Five ways to get the new year off to a great start

The ham, turkey and pudding may have barely settled in your belly (if you celebrate Christmas), but almost as soon as the festive season is over, the new year looms. Lots of freelance writers have told me that they want 2018 to be their year - one where they start a new type of writing, earn more, quit their day job or build up their side hustle. Whatever your aim for 2018, it’s worth ensuring you have done these five things to ensure the new year gets off to a strong start.

The 9 lessons I learnt from my first year of full time freelancing

2017 has been a huge year for me. I started in January not knowing how I would go trying to earn a full time living from freelance writing for magazines, newspapers and corporate organisations. I’m so glad to say that it’s been a success. I’ve never felt more motivated, more productive or more engaged in the work I’m doing. The year hasn’t been without challenges, though.

November - the month I hit $100K

There’s no beating around the bush. I’ve had a massive month, and one that tipped my total commissions for the year over $100K. Much of that has been earned through feature writing for magazines and newspapers  – something I never thought was possible. Especially given this is my first year of full time freelancing and until now I have never earned over $20K in a year from my writing.

My biggest failing as a freelancer

Last week I was having dinner with a friend and she asked how my work was going. “It’s really good,” I replied. “But I’m slammed with work. I’m working flat out during the day and I’m having to do work in the evenings too.” She looked at me, put her fork down and said something that seemed so obvious, but it hadn’t occurred to me before she said it.

Meet Megan Blandford - a freelance writer embracing the unknown

Megan Blandford is one of those freelance writers whose byline you see everywhere. Her articles regularly appear in glossy magazines, newspapers, websites and blogs. Megan is versatile too - she can turn her hand to writing about almost anything; from health and business to travel, food and property. My decision to become a full time freelancer was partly inspired by Megan. She was the first person I knew whose husband looked after the kids while she made a good living from freelance writing. 

Are you ready to become a full time freelance writer?

Around this time last year I started thinking about going full time as a freelance writer. It was a scary thought – would I be able to earn enough money, would I be able to maintain the energy required to run a small business (which is effectively what you’re doing when you’re a freelance writer), was I still going to love writing if it became my full time job and was I going to be successful?

How this one template will boost your productivity

When I first started writing feature articles for magazines and newspapers, I would pitch my idea to an editor, conduct all my interviews, transcribe the interviews and then write the article. This was when writing was a side-hustle and I didn’t particularly need to think about how the number of hours I worked on each article impacted my word or hourly rate. Now I get most of my interviews transcribed, but there is one more important step that I’ve added in.

September - the month of trying new things

2017 has been a bit of an experiment. This time last year my partner and I had finally decided that I would work as a freelance writer full time and he would be the stay-at-home parent. I promised myself that at the end of each month I would review how I was going - was I pitching enough? Marketing myself enough? Writing articles on topics that fascinated me? Was I happy? Most of all I wanted to make sure that I was trying new things in the writing world and this month I definitely have.

Writing for in-flight magazines: how freelance writers can break in

One of the things I love most about flying is reading the in-flight magazine. They are often full of pithy, fascinating and topical stories – not only about particular destinations, but broader trends and happenings within the arts, business, fashion and society. It can be tricky to break into writing for in-flight publications, so I spoke to a number of writers and an editor of an airline magazine to get the scoop on what you need to know in order to see your by-line the next time you take to the skies.  

The 3 best business decisions you can make as a freelance writer

When I started freelance writing, I was doing it as a side hustle. I was working two days a week as a social worker and also completing my PhD. Feature writing for magazines and newspapers was fun and thrilling, but until the start of this year I never looked at it like it was a business. Now I’m a full time freelance writer and I am so proud of my micro-enterprise. I get such a sense of satisfaction when I see articles published with my byline and the money (eventually!) land in my bank account.

Meet Ginger Gorman - social justice freelance journalist

Ginger Gorman is utterly committed to exploring issues that many of us would shy away from. As a social justice journalist Ginger has tackled everything from parental sex abuse to gender diverse teenagers to confronting those on the Internet who troll her. Ginger injects such sensitivity and empathy into her articles that it makes it hard to lift your eyes from her pieces. Her writing is a true example of the difference that journalism can make when writers deeply care about the issues they writing about and truly collaborate with their interviewees.

How to get started as a freelance writer

This is a bit different from my regular posts – each month I’m going to be doing a post for people new to freelance writing, but with a downloadable resource for everyone. I’ve had a bit of a rush of new subscribers and visitors to my site recently (hello and thank you!) and some of these lovely readers have been in touch and asked if I could go back to the very beginning.

How freelance writers can find fantastic interview sources

If you’ve got a great idea for a feature article for a magazine or newspaper, you need the talent to back it up. But for journalists or freelance writers, finding case studies or sources can be a tricky thing. You might need experts to translate complex ideas so that a general readership can understand recent research, or you may need to find someone with first person experience to speak eloquently about the topic you are exploring. But how do you find those people who are going to bring your story to life?